Hurrah for Thursdays and hurrah for quilting! I hope you join me and link up to I Quilt this week This week I’m talking confidence.
Without fail my projects follow a pattern. First I start with grand ideas, an amazing stash pull and full of confidence.
I over-gram, sharing my process in my supreme confidence.
Once I get a bit beyond the half-way mark, the doubt creeps in. Quietly at first, then in droves.
I’ve committed beyond the point of giving up and yet all I see ahead is a finished quilt that falls far short of my original idea. I’m used to this process. In spite of my fear of failure, I believe that it will work out OK, I keep going.
Usually when I finish a quilt (and I usually work just on one project at a time) I am so emotionally spent and exhausted that I step away for a few days (at the very least, overnight if a deadline is looming) before deciding how to quilt it.
I’m constantly thinking of my finished quilt top and usually take a couple of photos on my phone so that I can look at it throughout the day. I generally have a rough idea of how to quilt it but nothing definite. The only time I sketch quilting is for clients and then I have to apologise for my hideous sketches and reassure them that my quilting is far better than my drawing!
I’ve never made a quilt that I don’t like. In fact I think the least in love I’ve been with a quilt was even enough to say that I really, really like it, it just isn’t quite my style. Usually I think my work is pretty awesome once I’ve finished. The excitement of a freshly laundered quilt is always special.
The past week I have been working my butt off finishing a top for entry into the Canberra Quilters Members’ Exhibition. My moment of doubt was so extreme that I’ve started to doubt that it will even be accepted to be shown. Is it too busy? Too bright? Too modern?
I will be submitting a photo of it before it’s quilted and I KNOW that the quilting will bring it together and change it further. I hope the judges can see that too. I don’t know how I’ll quilt it, but I’m excited to get it on the frame. I want to quilt a couple of stars in the greys and quilt it quite densely. Beyond that I have no idea. But I’ve invested too much to give up and I’ve mostly passed the period of self doubt. Once the quilt is on the frame all that doubt disappears, I’m more focused than I am at any other time and usually it all comes together. I’m already completely in love with this quilt, I just never know if others can see what I can see.
I was watching a documentary this week about amazing Australian artist John Olsen and he said something along the lines of, “when I’m creating it starts completely instinctively followed by careful planning and attention to detail.” He described my creative process to a T and I immediately wanted to rush out and get it tattooed on my arm. For me, to quilt confidently is to start with my instinct, then focus on the detail and then move on in the knowledge that the end product will be awesome.
Now let’s hope I haven’t jinxed myself!
How does your creative process work? Are you a confident quilter? Do you have any tips to quilting confidently?
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